Moscow X: A Novel

Moscow X: A Novel

by David McCloskey

Narrated by Andrew B. Wehrlen

Unabridged — 14 hours, 38 minutes

Moscow X: A Novel

Moscow X: A Novel

by David McCloskey

Narrated by Andrew B. Wehrlen

Unabridged — 14 hours, 38 minutes

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Overview

A daring CIA operation threatens chaos in the Kremlin. But can Langley trust the Russian at its center?



CIA officers Sia and Max enter Russia under commercial cover to recruit Vladimir Putin's moneyman. Sia works for a London law firm that conceals the wealth of the superrich. Max's family business in Mexico-a CIA front since the 1960s-is a farm that breeds high-end racehorses. They pose as a couple to target Vadim, Putin's private banker, and his wife, Anna, who-unbeknownst to CIA-is a Russian intelligence officer under deep cover at the bank. As they descend further into a Russian world dripping with luxury and rife with gangland violence, Sia and Max's only hope may be Anna, who is playing a game of her own. Careening between the horse ranch in northern Mexico, the corridors of Langley, and the dark opulence of Putin's Russia, Moscow X is both a gripping thriller of modern espionage and a raw, unsparing commentary on the nature of truth, loyalty, and vengeance amid the shadow war between the United States and Russia.

Editorial Reviews

Marc Polymeropoulos

"Moscow X brilliantly captures the nuances of field work in hostile environments, the thrill and terror that grip every intelligence officer when they are in the belly of the beast."

Real Book Spy - Ryan Steck

"An elegant, masterfully written tale of espionage told by someone who knows what that world should look like."

The Real Book Spy

"An elegant, masterfully written tale of espionage told by someone who knows what that world should look like…. David McCloskey is the most exciting spy novelist to come along since Daniel Silva."

Brad Thor

"A smart, sleek, and absolutely gripping thriller that swept me away. With chilling Cold War era intrigue set against a fantastic modern plot, Moscow X is a jaw-dropper from start to finish. David McCloskey is the new John le Carré."

Marc E. Polymeropoulos

"Moscow X brilliantly captures the nuances of field work in hostile environments, the thrill and terror that grip every intelligence officer when they are in the belly of the beast. McCloskey is the new poet laureate of the CIA operations officer."

Nicholas Kristof

"A taut thriller by an author who was formerly a CIA officer and knows his ops. Terrific read, cementing McCloskey in my mind as the best spy fiction writer since le Carré."

Cipher Brief - Paul Kolbe

"Moscow X is a great read."

John Sipher

"Moscow X is a propulsive thrill ride and a moving portrait of life, betrayal, and vengeance in Putin’s Russia. Those of us who spent our careers running spies have been waiting for the next John le Carré, Charles McCarry, or Jason Matthews—authors who told riveting and deeply authentic stories about intelligence wars fought in the shadows. With Moscow X, David McCloskey takes his place among that company."

Simon Sebag Montefiore

"Propulsive, terrifying, [and] laced with authentic CIA lore. More authoritative on how Putin’s courtiers and oligarchs work than most journalists."

Mark Greaney

"Among the very best espionage fiction in print."

Clarissa Ward

"A spellbinding journey into the brutal, shadowy intrigues of the Russian elite and the underground world of espionage. The Russian condition, as seen through Anna’s eyes, is both moving and terrifying. An electrifying read. I could not put it down."

Kathleen Kent

"A white-knuckled, fast-paced journey into the modern age of spy craft, where high tech espionage jostles dangerously against old school cunning and Machiavellian intrigue."

Gregg Hurwitz

"David McCloskey has asserted himself as a world-class thriller writer.… [He already calls] to mind le Carré, Forsyth, and Silva."

Financial Times - Adam LeBor

"A gripping read…leavened with dry, poetic wit."

Kirkus Reviews

2023-08-10
America and Russia don’t play nice in a tale that mixes spies, horses, and gold bullion.

Moscow X is a secret CIA operation designed to cause migraines for the Russian government, especially for Vladimir Putin. “Access to Putin’s money would give us beautiful opportunities for fuckery and general mayhem,” declares Artemis Aphrodite Procter, formerly the CIA’s Chief of Station in Tajikistan. Her hands already “wet with Russian blood,” she jumps at the chance to join Moscow X. At about the same time, Lieutenant Colonel Chernov of the Federal Security Service (FSB) illegally transfers 221 bars of gold from Bank Rossiya, although it’s theft on Putin’s behalf. “What is to be done when the police are robbing you?” wonders a bemused banker. Chernov demonstrates that “the law is nothing but ritual, it is a glorious gesture of subjugation to our leader.” Anyway, the gold belongs to Russia, which in turn belongs to God. Therefore, it’s God’s gold, so the “withdrawal” is ultimately legitimate. (Nice reasoning!) Putin has a financial stake in RusFarm, a Thoroughbred horse operation. Anna Agapova has deep ties to the Russian establishment, but she meets sub rosa with the CIA. She is a complex character who has troubled relationships with her husband and her country, but whether she becomes a traitor to her homeland remains to be seen. A nice detail: She carries a lipstick gun, the “Kiss of Death,” which plays an unexpected role in the story. The cast of well-developed characters also includes Hortensia “Sia” Fox, a “hot-shit NOC” (non-official cover) who wants a Russian scalp, and there are nasty villains like Anna’s husband. The story builds a bit slowly at first, but the tension grows as well. There’s a reference to overthrowing Putin, but that doesn’t seem like the point. Procter has it right that the best analogy for U.S.-Russia relations is of “two individuals punching each other in a fight without end.” Human life and horseflesh are at risk, and the blood that eventually flows won’t tilt the balance of power in either direction. The author researched his subject deeply, and it shows.

The CIA pokes the Russian bear, and thriller fans win.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159439246
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication date: 11/14/2023
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 561,788
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